Here We Go Again: NJ Legislature To Take Up Same-Gender Marriage Bill

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rally-trenton-school-voucher-smallDemocrats in the New Jersey Legislature will reintroduce a same-gender marriage bill this week and have vowed to make  same-gender unions a top priority two years after similar legislation was voted down.

Four people with direct knowledge of the draft bill told The Associated Press that Democrats’ priority for the new legislative session is to move the bill quickly through both houses of the Legislature and forward it to the governor, perhaps as early as next month.

Gov. Chris Christie has said previously that he doesn’t support same-gender marriage.

The people, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the bill is still being drafted, said denying  same-gender couples the ability to marry violates their civil rights. They say they hope that’s how the governor will see it, too.

Six other states and Washington, D.C., permit  same-gender marriage.

New Jersey recognizes civil unions, but marriage equality advocates insist the law is flawed. They said it does not offer the legal protections of marriage as intended. The state’s main  same-gender rights group and  same-gender couples have sued.

Democrats tried but failed to shepherd a  same-gender  marriage bill through the Senate in the waning days of the Corzine administration in 2010 after Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, said he would sign it.

Fourteen senators voted for the bill. The measure needed 21 votes to pass.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat who abstained, has regretted not voting ever since. He has called his inaction on the bill “the biggest mistake” of his legislative career.

To indicate the importance he has since attached to the bill, Sweeney will be among its prime sponsors in the Senate along with incoming Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Sen. Ray Lesniak. It is being assigned the symbolic number S1, as the first bill of the new two-year session.

Democrats said they are confident they have enough votes to advance the bill but can’t do it by veto-proof majorities without some Republican support. It’s likely to die with the Republican governor. However, Christie also could ignore the bill if it reaches his desk, and it would become law in 45 days without his signature.

Goldstein said he doesn’t believe there are any circumstances under which Christie, a national GOP figure who is often talked about as a future presidential prospect, would sign a  same-gender marriage bill.

Christie was campaigning with Mitt Romney on Sunday in New Hampshire, where the Legislature is expected to vote soon on whether to repeal a 2009  same-gender  marriage law. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, recently told a voter there that he supports the repeal effort.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he told the voter.

The New Jersey bill allows religious institutions and personnel to opt out. In other words, no clergy member would be compelled to perform a  same-gender marriage ceremony and no place of worship would be required to allow  same-gender weddings at their facilities.

{ABC Local/ Newscenter}


  1. “Democrats tried but failed to shepherd a same-gender marriage bill through the Senate in the waning days of the Corzine administration in 2010 after Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, said he would sign it.”

    That’s right! Our community endorsed Corzine for Governor.
    what do you expect?!

  2. The Gemara says Hashem doesnt destroy the world because the goyim dont have same gender marriage. That’s how it effects us. Also as a rov I have heard sad stories of how children from certain homes have thought that toeivah marriage is ok

  3. To 1198: Don’t think for a minute that this doesn’t affect your life. When New York went through a similar exercise, it didn’t take long for us to begin to receive letters from several commercial outfits promoting trips to certain destinations and other sorts of advertising materials based upon the passage of this bill thereby legitimizing this concept. Everything that happens in the world affects us. See the commentators on Parshas Noach.


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